I have just a few notes about how I have used this in my own American history classroom and with my own students that might help you with yours. I have 'assigned' my students a state 'other' than our own and allowed them to do research on that state. Since I had more states than I had students, I could this over several classes we could generally have a couple of U.S. maps. We would then see if we could put together a good looking map from the pieces they had researched. By the way, that state never assigned, I generally assigned to what I felt was my must 'needy' student who struggled getting the grades or needed the most help. It always ended up being one of my most 'special needs' kids, but I would tell anyone that. It just "happened" that way – we just ran out of pieces to assign.
My students always loved doing this and seeing just what the puzzle looked like when done. We would do it for open house, parent's night, Constitution Day, Flag Day, Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, etc.